The fighting in the Palestinian city of hundreds of thousands of people is the worst in Gaza so far this year. The bombardments have lasted for several days, but this week they have become even more intense at the same time as Israeli tanks have rolled into several districts.
Health workers who work for Doctors Without Borders at the Nasser hospital say that the attacks are so close and so powerful that the ground shakes. It is not possible to carry out a safe evacuation of patients and staff because all roads are blocked, writes Doctors Without Borders in an update to NTB.
The hospital is packed with patients, in addition to the fact that many displaced persons have sought refuge in the hospital. The fear is that the attacks will escalate further.
Israel believes that Khan Younis serves as a headquarters for Hamas and has warned that the operation will become even more extensive in the coming days.
- During the last day, soldiers have carried out an extensive operation in which they have surrounded Khan Younis and penetrated deeper into the area. The area is an important stronghold for the Khan Younis Brigade of Hamas, writes the Israeli military (IDF) in a statement on Tuesday.
- Ground forces participated in close combat, targeted airstrikes and use intelligence to coordinate attacks, which led to the elimination of tens of terrorists, it says further. Israel suspects that Hamas leaders are hiding in underground tunnels, and that hostages are also being held captive there.
24 soldiers killed:
Residents have said that Israeli forces have moved westward into the crowded city, toward the Mediterranean coast. According to Palestinian health authorities, at least 195 Palestinians have been killed within a day, which means that the death toll has risen to 25,490. Thousands of others are feared to be lying dead under the ruins of the many demolished buildings.
Monday was the worst day for the Israeli army so far in the war. According to the IDF, 24 soldiers were killed, 21 of whom were buried in rubble when two buildings in the center of the Gaza Strip collapsed on top of them. Thus, at least 217 Israeli soldiers have lost their lives in connection with the ground invasion, according to the IDF.
Israeli media reports that the soldiers were killed in connection with preparing explosives to be used to blow up two buildings. But when a rocket-propelled grenade hit the area, the explosive went off prematurely, according to the reports.
Netanyahu promises complete victory
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu promises that the incident will be investigated, and at the same time says that Israel will not stop fighting until the country has secured “full victory”.
- Yesterday we experienced one of the most difficult days since the war started. In the name of our heroes, for the sake of our lives, we will not stop fighting until we have won completely and utterly,” Netanyahu said on Tuesday. But in Khan Younis, Palestinians rejoice over the Israeli losses.
- The resistance movement said they were going to turn Gaza into a graveyard for the occupation, and this is what is happening, says Abu Khaled, who has sought refuge in a school in Deir al-Balah, one of the few areas not yet stormed by Israeli soldiers .
- The longer they stay, the more we will suffer, but the more they will also suffer, he adds.
- Drones against anything that moves
The battles and attacks against Khan Younis mean that it is impossible to transport the dead to the burial ground. Instead, several have been buried in the backyard outside the Nasser hospital. At the same time, the situation at another of the city’s hospitals, Al-Khair, is unclear. It is run by the Palestinian Red Crescent, but since it was stormed by Israeli soldiers on Monday, they have been unable to contact the hospital, according to Palestinian officials.
The local Medias states that the organization’s office on the fourth floor of the hospital has been hit by a grenade from a tank, and that a civilian has been killed at the entrance. They also say Israeli forces are firing drones at anyone who moves nearby, making it impossible to dispatch ambulances throughout the Khan Younis area.
In recent weeks, a Norwegian team of doctors and nurses has been working at the Gaza European Hospital, which is also located near Khan Younis. On Monday, surgeon Erik Fosse told NTB that half of the team of six will leave Gaza on Wednesday, while the other three will stay for another week.
On Monday, the Internet and telephone connection in the Gaza Strip was once again broken, for the tenth time since the war began on 7 October. This creates even greater problems for the rescue work. According to the UN, 85 percent of Gaza’s 2.3 million inhabitants are displaced, and one in four inhabitants is starving.
The World Food Program (WFP) said on Tuesday that there is still a risk of famine breaking out in parts of Gaza as very little food has entered northern and central Gaza since the start of the war. Famine involves a catastrophic lack of food that leads to widespread malnutrition and people falling ill and dying of starvation.
Source: VG, Norway.
Translated into English by: Tongsan Media Group